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9mm Case Life

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by stxhunter, Mar 8, 2012.

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  1. stxhunter

    stxhunter Member

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    What type of case life should I see when loading 9mm with relatively mild loads? I've already loaded most of my cases 3 times, checking for any signs of failure before I load. Should I expect to see 10 or more loadings? I'm mainly using Winchester brass.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Nobody can say for sure.
    Chamber looseness of your gun and tightness of your sizing die determines how much the brass is worked each reloading cycle.
    The more it is worked the sooner it will fail by the case necks cracking.

    Case life on auto pistol brass is determined by:
    *When you wear the primer pockets out from re-priming so many times.
    *The case neck splits when you expand them or shoot them.
    *You lose them in the weeds & gravel.

    Don't worry about it.
    Just watch for split necks during each case inspection, and loose primer pockets when you re-prime them.

    These Federal cases failed on the first reloading:
    [​IMG]

    I have other Federal cases that have been loaded so many times you can't read the headstamps.

    rc
     
  3. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    I would expect 10 would seem reasonable. It really depends how much you baby them when belling for reloading, when they fail it will likely be a split at the case mouth.

    Time will tell.
     
  4. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I'm averaging about 15 per, using cool burning VV N320 and a minor PF load.
     
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    As RC already stated, case life is not something that can be projected. However, one particular method I've used for a very long time may extend case life a bit. in this respect I don't bell my case mouths and instead I ream and chamfer, which has reduced the number of mouth splits to near zero. It's all about how much the brass gets worked during loading and shooting. The one thing myself and others here can say for sure, is watch your brass for buldging near the head/web region.
     
  6. ssat1982

    ssat1982 Member

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    I typically lose cases before they show signs of wear
     
  7. Nick93

    Nick93 Member

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    I had some PMC 9mm cases that last 25 firings and after so many reloads i decided to quit loading them for bullseye so i use them for IPSC ... only 3 of the 50 cases had a crack ...
    Now im loading CBC brass and they are in the 12 reload and they size and look like the new ones ... My load is 124 gr plated bullets at 1100fps

    My shooting partner use Federal cases and they are at least in the 15 reload...

    I bet that using standard to mild loads you can get at leas 15 loadings
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    one to fiddy.
     
  9. MADDOG

    MADDOG Member

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    I hand prime my cases. When I started loading them I found one that the primer fell out of. I checked pretty close after that but it was the only one I found.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Me, too.
     
  11. stxhunter

    stxhunter Member

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    Are all "bad" cases that noticeable or do I need to really check them over with a magnifying glass (kidding about the magnification). I know case life will vary between brass, firearm being used and the amount of stress during the reloading process, I guess I was trying to figure an "average" number (do most people see 5 loadings or 15 etc.)

    Next question how do you know if you are using too much bell on the case mouth?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be as efficient as I can with reloading.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, generally you will just find a split neck when you expand the case.
    Kind of like the second from right on the bottom row in the photo.

    I bell just enough I can hand start bullets straight in charged cases and pick them up out of a loading block by the bullets without the cases falling off.

    rc
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Frequently, a cracked case will feel different, generally less resistance, during resizing or mouth expanding. When you encounter a different feel, check the case for cracks or splits.

    Not a replacement for inspecting the cases, but it can help catch a case that slipped through the inspection or failed during resizing.

    If you load on a progressive, it will be more difficult to feel the difference since there is so much more going on.
     
  14. 918v

    918v Member

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    30+ in my experience with FC.
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I don't even keep an accurate count. When they're done, they'll tell me.
     
  16. bbuddtec

    bbuddtec Member

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    TY beatledog and rc, I needed experienced info, mostly because I don't want to count, just throw 'em back in circulation after they make it back to the bench :D

    PS
    I can't wait to see some I cant read the headstamps, AND rc, is it the pic or were there some pretty hot loads in 3 of those cases? :) dang the pic dint go///
     
  17. AKMac

    AKMac Member

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  18. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Somewhere around 5, I use a lot of bell to speed up reloading, the necks usually crack during firing or resizing.

    I don't really worry about it, it's not uncommon for me to shoot 250 rounds, pick up my empties and another 250 pieces of 9mm brass.
     
  19. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I can only vouch for about 10 reloads. It easily could be double that or more.
    What I usually get first is a loose primer pocket. I paint the bottom black and don't take it home again after I shoot it. A very few have had case-mouths split when reloading. I bell the absolute minimum needed. 275/week.

    I pick up a lot of brass in addition to mine; so when one goes bad , I really don't know how many times I've loaded it.
     
  20. john16443

    john16443 Member

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    Interesting read. So according to the testing performed, AMERC brass appears to last the longest before failure. And to think this is the brand that is rejected outright by most people and thought not worthy of reloading. I don't use it as it isn't readily available to me. I will say that I concur with the indications that Federal brass tends to split at the neck sooner than others based on my personal observations and experience.
     
  21. 918v

    918v Member

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    This is what a FC 9mm case looks like after 30 reloads. The load was 3.6grs of 231 under a 147XTP, 1.100" OAL.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. bds

    bds Member

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    How long 9mm cases can be reloaded before failure depends on several variables like starting brass condition, powder and charge used, chamber dimensions of the barrel, etc.

    When I first got my Lone Wolf barrels with tighter chambers, I noticed my brass life got extended before case failure. I did a batch testing of once-fired mixed headstamp range brass (Winchester WIN, Remington R-P, Speer/CCI, mostly) in 9mm/40S&W and W231/HP-38 using mid-to-high range load data.

    I stopped the testing after 50 reloads without case failure.

    If you are using different powder/charge/barrel, YMMV.
     
  23. AKMac

    AKMac Member

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    On that same blog it goes into why Amerc did really well. Apparently some Amerc was made by Winchester. Eventually Amerc went out on their own and that's the Amerc that most people despise.
     
  24. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I have some 9mm brass that has around 15+ reloads on them. I have also have had some once fired Win Brass split out on the second and third firing. Brass these day are near the quality they were 30+ years ago. It use to be that you would loose the brass before it failed when it came to straight wall brass. Not any more, so you do need to inspect all of your brass. If you tumble with corncob before the sizing, the hair line cracks show up pretty easy. If you liquid clean you may or may not see these, since the cleaner will remove the black carbon line. Another negative for liquid cleaners......
     
  25. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    you'll lose it before you wear it out. and if you do overlook a small crack near the mouth it's not a big deal. it will split down all the way very noticeably when you fire it, then you can throw it away.

    It's not a real healthy thing to do to your chamber, but having it happen occasionally is not a big deal.
     
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